What literary figures had hidden identities and had bad things happen to them because of this?

Reply Sat 16 Apr, 2011 10:59 pm
I'm writing a paper, part of which that involves hidden identities. I'm looking for any literary figures who had bad things happen to them because of their hidden identities. So far, all I have are Oedipus and King Lauis, Rostam and Sohrab (from the Persian epic poem the Shahnameh), and that's it. There must be at least one Bible story, or a Brothers Grimm tale, or a Shakespeare play...it can be from any culture, even though the ones I listed are pretty Western, except for the Shahnameh.

I'm looking for classic stories, not contemporary ones. Any myths, fairy tales, etc. would be fantastic. Just anything that's pretty well known, even if it's only well-known in another culture. I'd actually really appreciate more Eastern stories (anything from the Ramayana or the Mahabharata or another religion's holy text would be really cool).

By the way, this is very late notice since it's for a paper due Tuesday (April 19th, 2011), but I had been struggling with my thesis, and I just worked it out. Now I just need more examples...

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out. And yes, I've tried various search terms in Google, so don't tell me to go Google it.
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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 12:42 am
The wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.
The wolf hid his true identity by dressing in grandma's clothes. The wolf eats Red Riding Hood but a hunter happens by and kills the wolf for doing so.
Thus If the wolf had not hidden his true idenity LRRH would have spotted him a mile away. LRRH would have escaped and the hunter would not have had reason to kill the wolf.
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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 06:36 am
There is "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

If a painting can be said to be a secret identity then "The Picture of Dorian Gray" might work.
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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 12:23 pm
The Lord of the Ring's Gollum.

Lord Voldemort - Harry Potter
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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 12:52 pm
Let's not forget Superman and Clark Kent...

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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 01:27 pm
Lots and lots of examples of hidden/ mistaken identity in Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors, etc.):

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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 05:02 pm
Lots of possibilities in this list of 50 greatest villians in literature:


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